Case Study: The Best Hard Rifle Cases Right Now

Case Study: The Best Hard Rifle Cases Right Now

Let's face it, we don't spend our hard-earned cash on gear to see it break on the way to the field. There's nothing worse than spending a considerable amount of time sighting in your rifle only to knock the scope loose...or worse.

If you value your rifle at all, a quality hard case is a must. Here are our top four choices.

Cabela's | Armor Xtreme

Cabela's really pulled out the stops with its Armor Xtreme case. Durable injection molded design at a price that is pretty hard to beat — in fact, easily the best value of the cases in our test. I liked the wide handle for comfortable carrying, smooth rolling (and replaceable wheels), plus the air lock and dustproof and waterproof O-ring seal.

Pelican | 1770

Pelican has become our de facto go-to case as they are well made and extremely durable. Between our various staff members we have logged over a million air miles with Pelican cases, and so far there have been zero failures of any kind. Sure, the tested cases now look horrible: scratched, scuffed, and marked up all over, but they have done their job in every environment around the world.

Plano | Mil-Spec Field Locker

The first 'quality ' gun case I bought (over 20 years ago) was a Plano, not very different from the Mil-Spec Field Locker I tested here. I still use that case today, and it is as good as the day I bought it.

SKB | iSeries

I tested SKB several years ago and absolutely loved it. However, I may have spoken too soon. One extremely cold winter morning, I grabbed the top handle and it snapped in half. Ticked, but figuring it was just a flawed handle, I reached for the side handle; this one sheared in half as well and dropped the case onto the frozen ground. Yes, the handles are replaceable, and covered under warranty, but they never should have broken.

Cabela's | Armor Xtreme

The all-metal, draw-down style clasps, while slow, are extremely secure and rugged once latched. I also liked the small details like the space to write owner name/info on the outside of the case.

Cabela's | Armor Xtreme

Like all Cabela's products, the Armor Xtreme case carries the Cabela's Legendary Guarantee.

Cabela's | Armor Xtreme

Bottom Line:

Expect Cabela's quality, attention-to-detail, value, and durablity backed up by their Legendary Guarantee.

Price: $79-$199

Pelican | 1770

Completely water-, dust-, and crush-proof, no contents have ever been damaged, and for the most part, scopes stay sighted-in as well as can be expected.

Pelican | 1770

Pelican cases are also covered by a lifetime warranty (that will likely never be needed).

Pelican | 1770

Bottom Line:

The sturdiest case we tested. Extensively field-tested and proven by our staff. No complaints other than the squeaking of our wallets.

Price: $229-$500

Plano | Mil-Spec Field Locker

While the Mil-Spec Field Locker flexed more than the other cases in this test and the seal between the top and bottom was not as tight, it is still a quality case and features items like a pressure relief valve, ball-bearing wheels, and a heavyduty overmolded handle.

Plano | Mil-Spec Field Locker

Both the wheels and latches are easily replaceable should an overactive baggage gorilla take out his frustration on them. While we like the case, the price is no longer the super-great value it once was.

Plano | Mil-Spec Field Locker

Bottom Line:

Good quality, however, not as rigid as other cases tested. Unfortunatly the price is comaprable to all but the Pelican line.

Price: $189-$229

SKB | iSeries

Other than the handle issue, however, the iSeries is a solid case: strong latches, heavy-duty construction, O-ring sealed, and multiple locking points for security.

SKB | iSeries

Bottom Line:

Well-designed case with great features, but a brittle (when cold) polymer caused two handle failures during long-term testing.

Price: $115-$250

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Moon Phase Rut Tips

Moon Phase Rut Tips

John Dudley, technical writer and host of Nock On TV discusses why it's imporant to follow moon phases for the rut.

Whitetail Shot Placement

Whitetail Shot Placement

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim for the best penetration of the vitals on a whitetail deer.

B&C Typical Mule Deer

B&C Typical Mule Deer

Doug Burris Jr's typical mule deer taken in 1969, could just be one record that will never be broken.

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

These trail cameras feature the latest wireless technology. Optics

The Best Cellular Trail Cameras for 2020

Tony J. Peterson - July 09, 2020

These trail cameras feature the latest wireless technology.

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing strategies. Conservation

Are New Hunter Recruitment Strategies Working?

Andrew McKean - May 05, 2020

The outdoor industry gets serious about recruiting new hunters with some curious marketing...

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd. Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

Montana's vast wilderness provides the backdrop for a test of fortitude on the hunt for trophy black bears. North America Big Game

A Long Way Up: Montana Backcountry Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Montana's vast wilderness provides the backdrop for a test of fortitude on the hunt for trophy...

See More Trending Articles

More Accessories

Here are our picks that would make the best gift for Father's Day this year. Accessories

2020 Father's Day Gift Guide

Petersen's Hunting Editors - April 21, 2020

Sponsored By
MANSCAPED
Staying connected in the backcountry isn't as hard as it used to be with these three affordable Accessories

Text Anywhere With These Three Affordable Devices

Kali Parmley - November 14, 2017

Staying connected in the backcountry isn't as hard as it used to be with these three affordable

Looking for a few great gift ideas to add to your Christmas holiday shopping list? Then keep these Cyber Monday deals in mind this year! Accessories

Cyber Monday Deals for Outdoor Gear

Lynn Burkhead - November 22, 2018

Looking for a few great gift ideas to add to your Christmas holiday shopping list? Then keep...

The perfect 3-day hunting pack durable, comfortable and spacious.
Looking for a pack that's built Accessories

Best hunting packs for 3-day adventures

Kali Parmley - November 22, 2017

The perfect 3-day hunting pack durable, comfortable and spacious. Looking for a pack that's...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now